Hearts bagged a last-minute penalty to win 2-1 at Cowdenbeath this afternoon.
Colin Marshall opened the scoring for the Blue Brazil before Callum Paterson got the Jambos back on level terms. As the game looked to be heading towards a draw, Jamie Walker was bundled over in the box and Brad McKay slotted home from the spot.
Robbie Neilson made four changes from the side that disposed of Raith Rovers last week; in came Jack Hamilton, Jordan McGhee, Brad McKay and Genero Zeefuik. For Scott Gallacher, Sam Nicholson, Soufian El Hassnaoui and the suspended Danny Wilson.
With only 12 seconds on the clock, Hearts rattled the crossbar. Paterson latched onto a forward ball and thundered his effort from just inside the box off the top of the bar and over.
The Jambos dominated early proceedings and went close again after 13 minutes. A great flowing move saw Zeefuik tee-up Sow, who hit a sweet half-volley inches wide of Robbie Thomson’s right-hand post.
However, it was the hosts who took the lead a minute later. A cutback from the left saw Marshall stride forward and lash the ball low past Hamilton and into the bottom corner of the net.
The goal took Hearts by surprise and put them off their stride, as a series of long balls went wayward.
Kenny Anderson reminded Cowdenbeath just how dangerous the league champions could be, his stunning half-volley from the edge of the box forced Thomson to tip over the bar.
Moments later it was 1-1. Jamie Walker’s cross was met in the six-yard box by Paterson, who rose like a salmon to nod beyond Thomson.
Hearts had Hamilton to thank for keeping the scores level at half-time. Morgaro Gomis was dispossessed by Colin Nish, who drove a shot on target but was denied by a good block from the Jambos’ goalkeeper, and the rebound was skied over the bar.
Eight minutes into the restart Zeefuik was replaced by Nicholson, and the winger made an instant impact by cutting in from the right and drilling low at Thomson.
A well-worked set piece saw Hearts go close once more. McHattie’s free-kick found Nicholson at the back door and laid off Walker, who forced a great diving save from Thomson.
Nicholson was again instrumental in setting up another Hearts attack. He ran across the length of the Cowdenbeath box before finding Sow, but his stab towards goal was pounced upon by Thomson.
Just when it looked like a disappointing afternoon for the Jambos, Walker was fouled inside the box and referee Craig Charleston pointed to the spot. Up stepped McKay, who cooly dispatched the spot kick, to save the day for the men in maroon.
Cowdenbeath: Thomson. O'Brien, Armstrong, Wedderburn (Miller, 63'), Robertson, Milne (Johnston, 82'), Nish, Brownlie, Oyenuga, Marshall, Toshney. Subs: Campbell, Kane, Callaghan, Halsman, Sneddon.
Hearts: Hamilton, Paterson, McHattie, Ozturk, Gomis, Walker, Sow, Anderson (El Hassnaoui, 77'), McKay, Zeefuik (Nicholson, 53'), McGhee (Keatings, 63'). Subs: Gallacher, Oliver, McKirdy, I.Smith.
Referee: Craig Charleston
Top man: Jamie Walker